A picture of Jupiter may be worth a thousand words, but what about more than half a million?
Veteran astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy from Arizona unveiled this spectacular photo of Jupiter this month on September 17 after capturing his best view yet of the giant planet this month. But what you see isn’t just one photo, it’s a combination of hundreds of thousands of images.
“After spending all night taking about 600,000 photos of it, I’m thrilled to show you my sharpest shot of Jupiter to date,” McCarthy said. wrote on Twitter (opens in a new tab) while sharing the image on September 17. “This was captured using an 11″ telescope and camera that I usually use for deep sky work.” You can see more photos of McCarthy on his Instagram page @cosmic_background (opens in a new tab) as good as his astrophotography site (opens in a new tab).
Related: See Jupiter at its closest point to Earth since 1963
McCarthy uses software to stack multiple images taken during a night sky photo session and the result is stunning. He used a similar technique to take a “ridiculously detailed” image of the moon it took months. Jupiter, he said, is always a great target for his camera eye.
“Watching Jupiter never gets old. It’s a beautiful planet,” McCarthy told Space.com in a statement. “And even though the number of photos seems high, I was capturing them at around 80 per second, so it went by relatively quickly.” In all, it took about two hours to take the photos, he added.
“Conditions were very good that night, so I saw the planet in much more detail than usual, which was very exciting,” McCarthy added.
Jupiter will be in opposition for 2022 September 26, making it the best time to observe the giant planet this year. It can easily be seen with the naked eye as a bright light in the eastern night sky.
This year, the opposition of the planet will mark Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth in 59 years. It will be 367 million miles (591 million kilometers) away, the closest to Earth since 1963.
If you’re hoping to see Jupiter better in the future and are looking for gear to help you out, check out our guides to the best binoculars and the best telescopes to locate the giant planet and other celestial landmarks.
To capture the best images of Jupiter, be sure to check out our recommendations for the best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography. Here are our tips for astrophotography for beginners to help you get started.
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